Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 16, 2013

The Luminaries wins the 2013 Man Booker Prize!

The LuminariesCongratulations to Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her second novel The Luminaries!

(Now I’m really pleased that I bought a copy of it, just last weekend).

I have Catton’s first novel on my TBR too: it’s called The Rehearsal – and it showed up in awards lists as well: it was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2009, and it won the  New Zealand Post Book Award for Best First Novel  in the same year,

New Zealand has won the Booker once before, with Keri Hulme’s The Bone People.

I’m sure I speak for all Aussies when I say how pleased and proud we are of our ‘cousins’ across the ditch:)

Read more about this exciting news at the SMH.

Update: see my review


  1. This is wonderful news! Congratulations to Eleanor Catton! I want to read this book. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


  2. “The Rehearsal” is a great novel, and I expect ‘The Luminaries’ is too. I forgot she was a New Zealander and not an Aussie.


    • Now I’m really tempted to read The Rehearsal first …


  3. Congrats to Eleanor… I am not one intimidated by voluminous books. I will read it anytime.


    • It will be good to see your review:)


  4. Congrats to the Antipodes — we Canadians will take a minor nod since Catton was born here and left when she was six. I would have a hard time arguing that that makes her a “Canadian” writer. Indeed, I think she represents something we will be seeing more of in the future — a truly “global” writer who has gathered observations and thoughts from around the world. My understanding is that The Luminaries was written while she was at the highly-regarded Iowa Writers’ Workshop, which adds to the global nature of her experience.

    I have read and enjoyed both her books — and they are completely different. Given my tastes, I would give a minor preferential nod to The Rehearsal but that is based on my bias not her ability. She set herself two very difficult conditions in The Luminaries: each chapter has half as many words as the previous one (so the opening chapter is 380 pages, the final four — of twelve — total only 17) and each chapter also conforms to some sort of astrological discipline which totally is beyond my ken.

    For me, the best thing about her Booker win is that she becomes the youngest winner are age 28. I’d say we have a lot more Catton to look forward to.


    • *chuckle* Canada can claim the genes and NZ the environment? Nice!
      I read an interesting article the other day exploring the ‘global’ novel that could be anywhere v the novel with an unambiguous sense of place – I was just too overwhelmed by work this week to do anything more than read it – and now of course I can’t find it.
      But by the sound of things, Catton is both global and local, siting her novel in Hokatika.
      *memo to self* I must get across the ditch before long and check out NZ for myself…..


  5. I’m about half-way through, and loving it — my reading of it has been seriously hampered by the fact that it doesn’t fit into my handbag, and PT is where I do most of my reading…I’ve been at it for about a month and a half! hehe.


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